Category | Youth Ministry

                     Share this on: Share this on Facebook Tweet This Pin it Share this on LinkedIn Share on Google Share this by EMAIL

Build Relationships with Youth
Take time to get to know each youth. Teenagers will be teenagers and are by nature restless, hyper, and noisy persons. Accept youth as the silly, noisy people they are. Learn to see their sensitive, enthusiastic, eager side which needs the nurturing of a caring adult. As you build relationships with each youth, and they feel that you appreciate and accept them, you will find a mutual trust and respect growing. Youth are much more responsive to the guidance, advice and even discipline of those they view as caring. “Youth don’t care what you know until the know that you care.” When unacceptable behavior occurs, (and it will definitely occur from time to time) it is rarely a personal attack directed toward you. It is simply a symptom of a deeper problem that a teenager might have. Behavior is always a symptom of something else. Always try to find the root causes of the behavior. When you handle the root, the behavior of the youth will change. Be careful not to embarrass a teen in front of their peers. The result will be more problems with that student. Discipline youth in private if at all possible. Create a positive but firm relationship. When you have a positive relationship with youth, often, a simple touch, look, or quick remark to quiet down is usually enough to get things moving in a positive direction again.

Create a Positive Environment for Youth
Be proactive rather than reactive. To encourage promptness, start with a “bang”. To fight the teenagers’ tendency to be late, start on time. Don’t react by running after youth, scream, or remind them of the time to get started. Instead, be proactive and start each meeting with a quick activity that will grab the attention of the youth. Youth are talkative and full of energy so instead of trying to react and calm them down, keep them actively involved throughout the programs with a variety of activities and opportunities for them to interact, to express themselves, and to release their energy. Make the youth programs positive and upbeat with a wide selection of activities that are exciting and fun, game oriented, and concise.

Guide Rather than Tell
Never tell a youth anything he can discover for himself! We all learn more by doing rather than listening. Personal discovery is much more powerful than being given the answers. When we discover things for ourselves we make them our own truth.

Be Firm with a Good Measure of Grace
At one extreme are youth leaders who are “Drill Sergeant”s and “Dictators”. At the other extreme are the “Pushovers”, the youth leaders without a backbone. While there may be times for various responses, the most effective youth leaders lie somewhere in between. Being strict won’t get the results you want; nor will being unstructured. We don’t always give youth what they want, but what they need because sometimes they are unaware of what they really need themselves. When discipline is called for we must always seek to rehabilitate, to guide youth toward positive growth rather than to simply punish. There are times when a firm hand is needed, and there are times when grace is needed. Explain what you see as the problem and encourage the teens to help come up with a solution.

Be Realistic but Encouraging Positive Growth
Remember that teenagers’ abnormal behavior is almost always normal. Their behavior is only a temporary phase youth pass through on the way to adulthood. In time they will grow out of it. While we must love them as they are, we must love them enough to not leave them as they are. And when it is hard to love them as they are, we must love them for what they can be. As adult youth leaders we need to help youth get better acquainted with who they are and who they are becoming in Christ.

Set Boundaries and Expectations for Youth
Together with the youth, as a group decide what is and is not objectionable behavior, and set specific limits accordingly. Boundaries should be empowering rather than simply inhibiting. When the students help make the rules, they break them less frequently. Once the limits are set, the youth should know and agree to the limits. But also remember that youth will forever be testing the boundaries in an attempt to discover which boundaries are firm and which ones are flexible. It’s not a rejection of the boundaries but an attempt to establish their own boundaries and find a place to stand. Always know why the boundary exists and be able to explain the rationale for it. Youth also need to recognize that there are often very real consequences for crossing over boundaries and reasons they are placed where they are. Like the edge of a cliff there will be some that want to get as close to the edge as possible for the thrill, but they risk falling over the edge and getting hurt in the process. We need to help them recognize where the boundaries are and help them to walk a comfortable distance away from them. Allow, as much as possible, for freedom and flexibility within the limits set. However, “no” must be taken seriously, not as a “maybe.”

Appropriate Responses to Youth Behavior
Build a good healthy respect for youth into your discipline. Never embarrass a youth in front of his peers. When there are problems, try to deal with a youth alone. Never attack the person, only the behavior. Rewards and punishments must be appropriate and aimed to encourage positive behavior while discouraging negative behavior. Both the “stick” and the “carrot” are effective and have their moments, but we should not go to the extremes of bribery for positive behavior and getting revenge for negative behavior. When a youth breaks a rule, don’t overreact with harshness, but correct the problem with compassion. Students need to know what will happen when a rule is broken and the consequences must be fair and fit the action.

Free Expression for Youth
Structure activities in which the young people are free to express themselves without judgement. Provide other perspectives (including the Biblical perspective) and other ways to view things without labeling the youth as wrong. When the truth is clear and the choices are presented to them in a no judgmental way most youth will correct themselves. But when threatened youth are more likely to be defensive, rebellious, or even confrontational. Use group-building exercises to let students be talkative and noisy within an orderly context. Youth will appreciate the opportunity to express themselves. You will appreciate the the fact that some energy can be released in a positive way.

Actively Involve the Youth
Allow your youth to help you plan and implement activities. The more ownership youth have in the event, the less discipline problems you’ll have. Involvement and responsibility creates commitment. Whether your youth group is large or small your functions should include a variety of activities that cater to a variety of energy levels and interests, especially with younger youth. During discussions, break up the youth into small groups so no one is left out. Often youth who don’t get involved are the ones who cause the most problems. Also be conscious of transitions. Move smoothly and quickly from one activity to another. When a lag occurs between activities, problems tend to occur.

Actively Involve Caring Adults
When other adults are included they bring with them a variety of gifts, leadership styles, and personalities. A few adults seated among the youth can help maintain control of the group without attracting a lot of attention. Some are better at disciplining without harshness. Some are respected by the youth already. The youth will respond to them well when these leaders must “have a talk” with them.

What to Do with Unacceptable Behavior
You cannot allow one youth to spoil the event for everyone. If a teenager senses you are sincere about your frustration, he usually will respond in a positive manner. If further disruption continues, be prepared to take harsher action in love, if necessary.

Get "Creative Sermon Ideas" eBook

Get Help on Your Youth Sermons

Creative Sermon Ideas
This 100 Page e-Book Includes All The Help You Need To Prepare Powerful, Life-Changing Youth Sermons That Will Turn Your Preaching Around And Make Your Youth Sit Up And Listen! Includes 7 Complete Sermons.
–> I want More Youth Sermon Ideas…

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
     Rate This Post by Clicking the Stars :
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Idea of the Week

"Yes! Give Me Access To
Creative Youth Ideas
The Only Youth Ministry Resource I Will Ever Need..."
Enter Your Email below!

Popular Resources
Creative Youth Ideas – Who Do You Say That I AM?

Creative Youth Ideas - Who Do You Say that I AM?

Camp Bible Study Series Great for youth camps or weekly Bible ...

Tell Me More

Creative Object Lessons

Creative Object Lessons

NEW RESOURCE LAUNCH OFFER 200 page e-book that explains everything you ...

Tell Me More

Creative Youth Ideas – Fruit of the Spirit

Creative Youth Ideas - Fruit Of the Spirit

Youth Camp Bible Study Series Live the Fruitful, Abundant Life ...

Tell Me More

Creative Youth Ideas – Destined to Win

Creative Youth Ideas - Destined to Win

Youth Camp / Bible Study Series Spiritual Training to Run the ...

Tell Me More

Creative Youth Ideas – Go for the Gold

Creative Youth Ideas - Go For the Gold

Youth Camp / Bible Study Series Olympic themed Evangelistic Bible ...

Tell Me More

Camp Curriculum – Whale of a Tale

Camp Curriculum - Whale of a Tale

Bible Studies based on the book of Jonah Only $14.99

Tell Me More

Once Lost, Now Found – Creative Scavenger Hunts

Once Lost, Now Found - Creative Scavenger Hunts

More than 50 Scavenger hunts including lists, rules, riddles, step ...

Tell Me More

Icebreakers Ahead: Take It to the Next Level

Icebreakers Ahead: Take it to the Next Level

52 of the World's Best Icebreakers applied to Spiritual ...

Tell Me More

Creative Holiday Ideas

Creative Holiday Ideas

New Year's, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving ...

Tell Me More

Creative Sermon Ideas

Creative Sermon Ideas

NEW RESOURCE LAUNCH OFFER 100 Page e-Book Includes All The Help ...

Tell Me More

Creative Youth Ideas – Christmas Collection

Creative Youth Ideas - Christmas Collection

More than 200 Christmas Ideas (360 pages) Only $24.97

Tell Me More

Camp Curriculum – the Great Adventure

Camp Curriculum - The Great Adventure

Western themed Bible Study Series Only $19.99

Tell Me More